My fellow Americans,

Yes, I’m a "northerner" by birth, and an American by thought. In other words, I’m open-minded towards my Southern brethren. I loved Gods and Generals. Okay, there could’ve been more action scenes, but I understand what a logistics nightmare that would have been, too. Maxwell has a lot to be proud of.

As an Irish Catholic, I’m also very sensitive towards what the North did to instigate the war. The damn Yankee aristocracy up here, including many of the local blue-bloods who founded Amherst College and made their money off cheap immigrant labor in their mills in nearby Holyoke, MA, have much to be ashamed of. If you want a parallel example; they were the Saudi royalty of their day and John Brown was their Osama. Getting back to the Irish perspective. These penny pinchers didn’t have the guts to admit that paying immigrants to work in their dangerous factories for pennies an hour wasn’t very far from slavery itself. I guess one could argue, on very slim grounds as thin as April ice, that the Yankee businessmen managed to avoid charges of slavery themselves. Ah, but how did they make their profits? By buying cotton from slave plantations, paying cheap wages and pocketing the difference! And what did some of those noble blue-bloods do with the money: they bought Beecher’s Bibles and substitutes (during the war.)

It was altogether fitting that I took my youngest son to see Gods and Generals in a movie house here in Hadley, MA. After all, one of Hadley’s most famous sons was featured during the final battle scene; none other than "Fighting Joe" Hooker, who was born just 1/8 mile from my house.

Finally, I find it doubly entertaining to see Howard Dean, former guv of the granola state up north — by way of the upper east side of Manhattan — having to squirm following his craven pandering to the so-called "pickup truck/confederate flag waving" crowd of the South. Dumb Yankee. All he had to do was say "NASCAR voters" and he wouldn’t have the likes of the Rev. Al Sharpton breathing down his (reddening) neck. Also, watching Madison Cook remind Chris Matthews viewers who the real trouble makers are these days — academics, liberals, and the PC crowd up here in the Northeast — was a delight!

Keep up the fight for the truth!

Steven Barrett
Hadley, MA